Monday, 15 April 2013

More laths and beginning of wiring.

While waiting for something more constructive to do (Hah!), last week I moved up to the second floor and began putting up the stud partition walls in the bathroom, filling the big holes left from when we pushed over a brick wall sometime last year. Or maybe it was the year before. With the main studs and noggins in, it was a bit of a challenge getting laths in to form a vertical surface, as the old beams here are fairly uneven. The walls here have to continue up one more level, as we're leaving the bathroom open, so it is 1.5 stories high, the most headroom in the house.

Almost perfectly vertical laths. Mind the gap though!
With the beginnings of the fourth wall begun (on the right in the photo below), it feels more like a proper room, but that stairs has to move.

Doesn't look like a bathroom, but it does say WC on the wall.
I still have to figure out the best way to continue the installation shaft up through the bathroom, which will affect the placement of the toilet, but that will be a lot easier once I've inserted a new beam to close the gaping hole in the floor.

Top of the installation shaft, looking down into kitchen.
Similarly, on the level below, I finally blocked up the old doorway into what is now the first floor bathroom. I used autoclaved aerated concrete blocks (Gasbeton Steine in local parlance), also called Ytong blocks, which are light and easy to cut with a saw, which is just as well as it had to be built around the struts supporting the WC cistern.

Shortcut closed off :(

Toilet cistern now looks like a proper corner toilet.

This is a job I'd put off for too long, but the main reason that got me doing it was to get the blocks out of the living room for the next major undertaking: the wiring.

I've never wired a house before, but our friend Sace, who is a master electrician, gave me simple instructions, so I can break it down into stages. The first stage is to get the basic wiring for each room done, leading cables from a central distribution point in each room to where sockets or lights will be, forming chains between them if needed. It's light, enjoyable work, with the hardest thing deciding how to best run cables so they are hidden. Of course, there are standards to follow in terms of the height of sockets from the floor, heights of switches etc, but once you have a list, it's easy (and as an ex-surveyor, it's nice to have exact measurements to work off).

We need lots of sockets where the telly will end up.
Beams will be visible, so cables have to go through them
The cables that run under the floor are sheathed in PEHD corrugated pipes for protection, and the cables for the lights will run under the floor above (or above the ceiling, depending on your perspective), to avoid having to drill through too many beams. It's all great fun, and the benefit is I'll know where every single cable is, which is handy when installing floors and other stuff later.

To keep the pace, I have to remove the only remaining floorboards on this level, in our bedroom. I'd left this as a kind of workshop, but it has to go, so i need to find somewhere solid to store tools and materials until a temporary floor is put in.

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